JAM Magazine CD Review

November , 2014
Review by Mike Diquinzio


"Blood In, Blood Out"

Label: Nuclear Blast

In addition to keeping Slayer's crazy train from going off the rails, he has been keeping Exodus alive in a musical climate that has all but forgotten them. Like heavy metal's oldest child, they are constantly praised for past achievements as more recent accomplishments go largely unnoticed; robbed of the affection given to the infamous Big 4 as if there isn't enough love to go around, even though they were there first. If there is any justice in the world, that will all change with the release of Blood In, Blood Out on Nuclear Blast Records.

Like every release you've never heard, Blood In, Blood Out is unmistakable in its Exodus-ness. Gary Holt's trademark guitar tone has been largely un-fucked with in the years since your parents first danced the Toxic Waltz, but Blood In, Blood Out also welcomes back Steve "Zetro" Souza, one of the most recognizable vocalists in thrash metal, to the fold. Together, they have unleashed a collection of pure thrash metal that neither tries to reinvent the wheel nor recycle it so much as improve upon the one you already have.

Let's be clear: if the electronic sounds in the first minute of "Black 13" cause you to turn away in disgust, then you're an idiot. You can almost feel the band take the stage in that time before the song hits its stride and proceeds to snap your neck. Leadoff single "Salt the Wound" perfectly combines the guitar and bass tones of the classic thrash that Exodus created with the production to quality of today. But that's just one song... "Wrapped in the Arms of Rage," "Numb," "Food for the Worms," and the title track- hell, every single song - all build on this momentum, making Blood In, Blood Out an absolute must-have for every metal fan.

But what makes Blood In, Blood Out different from releases by, say, Metallica? Or Slayer? Or Megadeth? Simple: hunger. Exodus still sounds hungry, and Blood In, Blood Out is not only the sound of a band whose time may finally be upon them but the work ethic of Gary Holt himself fighting for the respect he is long overdue.